Three years ago, tonight, Josh and I drove to the hospital with hopes of having baby Emery. As we walked down the stairs outside of our apartment to the car, I thought, “Please don’t let me come back empty-handed, Lord.” I remember driving on the cold, icy roads…just a day after Thanksgiving. The snow glistened in the glow from the streetlights. We were about to embark on a journey that would catapult us into adulthood. We had no idea what we were getting into.
I walked into the hospital and the security guard insisted that I allow him to wheel me up to labor & delivery. I really wasn’t in any pain. “Please don’t let me go home empty-handed, Lord. Please throw me into labor. I want to go home with this baby,” I prayed to myself. I wore my UWSP sweatshirt and black yoga pants…I was certain I looked like a college student. In fact, I had been a student up until two days before!
The nurse came into the room and decided to give me the once over. She didn’t believe I was in labor, but wanted to talk to the doctor before sending me home. “Nooooo!” I thought. Dr. Dojaques, the only OB I had not met, walked in and checked me out. “We’re thinking you may have pre-eclampsia and it just hadn’t been caught. We’re thinking we should induce you right now.” “Pre-eclampsia? I’ve always had great blood pressure,” I thought. I wasn’t about to say that, though. “Better safe than sorry,” I said. Josh and I quickly signed a few pieces of paper and I dressed myself in a gown. The nurses gave me an IV of fluids and started the Oxytocin drip. We were on our way!
Now, I was under the impression that inductions were quick. When the doctor told me that it could be a while…up to 3 days, I thought that sounded really strange and probably rare. After all, my Lamaze instructor had said that inductions really sped up the labor process. I laid in the room with a totally uncomfortable IV in my hand. It was now very early on Saturday morning. I thought, “I bet Emery will be born by morning. Maybe we can still go to church on Sunday and show Emery off.” I repeat, we had no clue what we were getting into.
Hours past and the drip slowly increased. Every once in a while a nurse would come rushing into the room and ask, “Did you feel that?” They were monitoring my contractions, but I honestly wasn’t feeling a thing. They said that I was a real trooper…so I started to think that labor was going to be easy. Around 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning a few nurses rushed into my room. Emery was showing signs of distress. His heart rate was dropping significantly. Apparently inductions can have that effect… So, they turned off the drip until Emery stabilized.
In a couple hours they started up the drip again. I was so disappointed that it was taking this long. I was really hoping that Emery would be born by the late morning or early afternoon. I decided to walk around. I even took a couple baths. The nurses were all really great and I had a few visitors too. Of course, I was hungry. They don’t let you eat anything just in case you end up needing an emergency C-Section. I thought, “How on earth am I supposed to push a baby out without any sustenance?” I repeat…I had no idea what I was getting into.
By the evening, Josh was getting pretty hungry, so we called my cousin, Jocelyn, and asked if she’d bring some Cousin’s subs for dinner. I was SO jealous. I really wanted a sub. They were the best. Josh ate his dinner and Jocelyn and I walked around the maternity ward…circling the nurses station over…and over…and over again. It wasn’t long before finals, so she left to study at about 8:30 or 9:00.
Now, I still hadn’t really felt any contractions at all. At least none that were painful. I walked back into my room and sat down on a birthing ball. I bounced up and down as I talked to Josh and watched a little TV. “Oh no…I can’t get up.” Emery dropped significantly and I was starting to feel lots of pain and pressure. Josh helped me up into the bed. A couple contractions later and I thought, “What did I get myself into?”
It didn’t take long for the contractions to come on full force. “Get the nurses in here right now!” I was in complete agony…and was only 5cm dilated. So this is what they were talking about with induction and intensity… “Would you like an epidural?”
“How much longer will this be??”
“Probably another 8-10 hours.”
“Seriously?? I don’t think I can take 8-10 hours of this.”
Josh and I talked about the epidural. “I know you said you wanted to do this without medication” Josh reminded me. “I know…but I don’t think I can do this for another 8 to 10 hours. That’s a really long time,” I insisted. “Ok,” Josh said. He was in complete support of whatever I needed.
We called the doctor back into the room, “OK. We’ll have the epidural.” The contractions were getting closer and closer…stronger and stronger. I really was not remaining composed at all. The contractions were so intense that I felt as if my body was going to explode in half at any moment. “Where is the anesthesiologist!?” the doctor exclaimed angrily as I screamed in pain. (When I say screamed, I’m not kidding. I screamed) “And close that door!” Josh tried his very best to keep me calm.
“I need to push!” I yelled. The nurse frantically encouraged me not to push, “You’re really going to hurt yourself. Don’t push!” “I can’t help it!” I shouted back at her. Finally the anesthesiologist showed up…but she was too late…Just a few more minutes and a few good pushes later and Emery made his entrance into the world.
“So this is love…hhmmmhmmm…so this is what makes life, life…”–Cinderella sang about a man she had only met once and I never understood it. Here, I was thinking the same thing about a baby who had barely taken his first breath. “Oh God” was all I could whisper as they laid is slimy, purple little body on my chest. I thought I would cry when I first saw him…but all I could do was smile…and barely breath. I was EXHAUSTED…but I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. They took him to weigh and measure him. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen…all 8 lbs and 1 oz of him.
The anesthesiologist gave me some pain killers intravenously, just to take the edge off. I, then, got to hold my sweet little Emery…all bundled up in his receiving blanket and little hat. He was so small…and so big all at the same time. I had no idea what to think.
In that moment everything changed. Life would never be the same again. From that point on, every single thing that I would do…when I ate, slept, ran errands, went to the bathroom, showered…every single thing would be dependent on what was best for this little baby. I was his mommy. He was my son. We would have many special moments…just him and me…just the two of us.
Emery Scott Buller, I am so thankful for the day that you were born. You are one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given by God. Just by your existence you have taught me so much more about God and His unconditional love for us. You are my child. You will always be my baby boy. I will love you eternally. I strive to be the mother that God has called me to be. I will always love you no matter what. It is just 2 hours until we will begin to celebrate your birthday–But I celebrate the day you were born every single day. I love you, baby cakes!